The shrimp was fine: I had the unpleasant opportunity of reading Jen Karetnick's immensely close-minded review of the Wet Olive and ePoetry event ("Olive Spoil," June 12). My view of the restaurant and evening is quite different from hers. I flew from Atlanta to take part in an event that my friends and fellow poets have been raving about.
I do recall a group of people seated by the window, talking and laughing in the middle of the performance, which by any standards is quite rude. I enjoyed an evening of unique people expressing their thoughts about love, life, and sex. I even was given an opportunity to recite three poems of my own. My shrimp and tapas were wonderful, the host and hostess greeted me, and the waitstaff catered to me.
Charlette Evette Butler
Thanks but no thanks: Any published article takes time, effort, and resources, and I truly appreciate New Times' sending a little of that our way. The article has boosted hits to our website, and the buzz appears to be growing daily. It would have been nice if Jen would have written a true and factual piece.
After most of my poetry friends and ePoetry regulars read the article, they displayed a lot of anger and frustration. I, on the other hand, was very calm and actually entertained by what is obviously an amateur piece. It is clear that Jen is not a professional. Here are a few "facts" she might want to be aware of:
ePoetry is not a competitive spoken-word event. A professional would have done the 15 minutes of research on our website. Audience members receive the prizes. On occasion, the audience has chosen to award the poet a prize.
On the night Jen attended, there were 35 attendees, and 15 where nonminorities. In other words, more than 40 percent of the crowd was white. I keep these figures because I do not promote, create, or condone separatism. I welcome all races and ethnic groups.
I am going to close with this small bit of advice -- make sure your reporters/writers are factual and honest. The article Jen wrote is clearly slanted, mean, and full of anger. It is obvious she is not interested in doing a good job as a journalist. Jen is really a coward with a pen. Thanks again for your time.
Randolph Dukes, ePoetry Curator
Tunnel vision: I would like to say it was great to see one of my girls on the cover of New Times, but the story by Audra Schroeder is causing a few people at J's to be a little upset ("Size Matters," June 5). The staff feels the bar is not getting its due. The Drama Kings perform only once a month, though we also have a full drag king and drag queen show every Saturday night.
I loved the cover shot, and FYI: Dante won first runner-up as last year's Drag King/Drag Queen Entertainer. I would really like someone to come into the bar and see how great and different J's really is. It's the only gay bar in the state that is cross-cultural, and there is no other place like it .
Thomas "DJ Big Daddy" Edmond
Brave new world: This article was great, I consider myself a transgender female -- a woman with manly features. I bodybuild and have lots of male hormones. I found this article to be enlightening and could relate to it. I have always wanted to be a drag king but never knew there was a place where I could actually be one.
Getting rich off the infirm: I read with great interest Wyatt Olson's May 22 article, "Troubled Endings," because my father was also in hospice with Vitas and we experienced something as horrifying as the Rourke family did. Reading Olson's article brought back our nightmares involving Vitas.
Our family experienced: a nonresponsive, insensitive staff that could not be bothered with our situation. When we would complain about the appalling encounters with their incompetent employees, we would receive the same rote quotation from the manager: "It is not financially possible for us to do any more than we are presently doing." Everything with Vitas was about money!
Just bareback-tolerant, dude: I am not a stubbly pale figure with a blindfold playing some Hamlet or Goth fantasy with a skull whilst humping a pile of similar others as grace your front cover on May 22 ("Unsafe Sex," Trevor Aaronson). I am an adult with a name and a life whom you can call and see and interview at any time if you want to learn anything related to the truth. I attended the party featured so strangely in this article.
The article was half of a voyeuristic look (literally) over a private fence and half a rant against the spread of syphilis, with just about NO INFORMATION as to what it is, how you spot it, and how it is actually transmitted.
If nothing else, please print something real about syphilis or links to info on the web, like www.syphilis.net, for it is astonishing how many folk are actually ignorant or even take your paper seriously.